Macbeth by William Shakespeare is structured into five acts, although it is also possible to say that the first part of the play focuses on crime whereas the second part focuses on consequences. The structure of the play can be analyzed in detail using Freytag’s pyramid. Among other things, this reveals that the play’s climax is the banquet scene in which Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost. From then on, everything goes downhill for Macbeth.
Macbeth is the main character and tragic hero of the play, and we follow his rise to greatness and ensuing downfall. Other important characters include his wife, Lady Macbeth, the three witches, King Duncan, Banquo, Malcolm, and Macduff. Also, an analysis of the relationship between the Macbeths shows that they drift apart over the course of the play.
The play’s physical setting is often used to symbolize how the universe has been thrown into chaos after Macbeth’s murder of King Duncan. Not only nature itself but also people’s bodies seem to behave unnaturally. This is because regicide was considered the greatest possible sin. The social setting is the Scottish upper class as most of the characters are noblemen or royalty.
The language of the play includes numerous literary and dramatic devices, such as soliloquy, dramatic irony, and imagery. In terms of meter, most characters speak in iambic pentameter, as it reflects their high social status. However, the witches often speak in trochaic tetrameter, which underlines their strangeness. In some cases, prose is used, for instance in letters or in order to demonstrate Lady Macbeth’s descent into madness.